Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Holy long description, Goodreads! I cut some to make it fit better. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.
...A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings... Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.
It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing...
So I've always been a bit reluctant to read the "classics." I read the ones I had to in high school, made a half-hearted attempt at reading 1984 (which I made it halfway through), and called it good.
Then I saw the trailer for The Great Gatsby.
And I had to admit, the story actually seemed kind of exciting. I love that era of US culture. And I was hearing lots of people bemoan all the casting choices. So I decided to read it for myself (and of course, by that I mean I listened to it).
1. F. Scott Fitzgerald certainly did have a way with words. It's one of those books that if I was reading it, I'm sure I would have marked many pages and gone back to copy down some of the beautiful language.
2. When I think of the "classics" I think long difficult to get through. This might just be because I've been too stubborn to read many of them. The Great Gatsby is neither. It's about cheating husbands, love affairs, the wealthy compared to the rest of us, perception of others, and many other things I could definitely relate to. (Well, I haven't had a cheating husband, but the plotline is familiar. :)
3. I'm not good at pointing out theme, but one of the ideas this book seemed to portray is one of my favorites -- that you can never really know what's going on in someone else's life. Only the parts they choose to show you.
In the end I gave this book three stars. I enjoyed it, but I didn't looove it. I think I might read it again, and actually read it, because I love the way Fitzgerald placed his words and phrases. The writing really is beautiful.
Did I fall in love with the story or the characters? No. Was I entertained the whole way through the book? Yes. So it's probably worth your time.
Plus, you know, it is a classic.
Are any of you huge Gatsby fans? I know they're out there! I'd love to hear what you all think of this one.